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Mr Skeptic

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About Mr Skeptic

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  • Birthday 08/13/1984

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    Dunkirk, NY
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  • Favorite Area of Science
    Physics, Biology

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  1. I have a degree in biology, but I don't know what life is either. Each definition has its flaws, especially if we aren't restricting it to biological Earth life. At the end of the day, it is just a definition we make up and things fit it or they don't. But it is very educational to try. To start off, decide which things you want to define as alive or whether you want to restrict your definition. Earth life, viruses (which can't reproduce without a living cell), alien organic life, alien inorganic life, mechanical sentient robots, which of these are alive and which of these are not, or which of
  2. Wrong on both counts. Also, how come you were even born, aren't you more organized than a fertilized egg cell and a bunch of food? Once you understand the second law of thermodynamics, you will understand that it is possible for you to have been born.
  3. I think the agreed-upon definition of intelligence was "The ability to solve mental problems." or "The ability to construct a model of a problem and solve it.". The disagreement stems from the fact that there are many kinds of problems with many solutions, and the definition of intelligence does not give any way to measure intelligence. Also, many people are more interested in certain kinds of problems, say concerning abstract concepts rather than things like being able to recognize objects' identities, sizes, and distances given a visual image of them. For example, shooting a basketball
  4. So if I'm understanding correctly, you propose that there is a machine that can produce work by taking gravitationally condensed clumps of matter and dispersing them through space? This seems rather odd to me; I can easily think of a machine that does the opposite but not one that does what you seem to be proposing. If you don't propose that such a machine can be made, then are we agreed that distributed matter has more useable energy than gravitationally clumped matter, and that gravitational clumping reduces the amount of useable energy?
  5. I'm not sure how that follows. Also, you and cosmologists might not be talking about the same sort of creation -- certainly at the time of the BB any information from any previous universe would have been largely destroyed due to the environment, so we could say our universe was created then then even if the matter and energy were there forever. On the other hand, I have heard suggestions that the total energy of the universe is zero due to some sort of negative energy from the expansion of space That's the First Law of Thermodynamics, and in no way conflicts with the second law.
  6. Actually, the first species to change the global environment were the first oxygen releasing photosynthetic bacteria. Oxygen is of course a highly toxic substance, so this change caused massive extinctions -- even to this day there are bacteria that can't survive an oxygenated environment, and though we ourselves need oxygen to live the levels of it are tightly controlled and we have all kinds of chemicals to negate the toxicity. On the other hand, that change allowed for terrestrial plants and creatures due to the ozone layer, and for our more improved energy storage where much of the weight
  7. Why should the star have "pointed" to where Jesus was born, or any other location? It would have sufficed for the Magi to have recognized the star as a sign that they should start searching for the King, and been able to recognize Him. It's not as though you can actually point to a particular spot on Earth with a star, what with it rotating and stuff.
  8. UV light helps lots of chemical reactions happen. As such, it would have been very useful to early pre-life and life. But modern life has enzymes for all the reactions we need, and so for the most part any extra chemistry happening in our bodies is going to be harmful. Nevertheless, a few reactions still require UV, such as formation of certain vitamins (Vitamin D for us, plenty of others for plants). Because UV light is generally harmful to life, we have chemicals to block it. Since it also has a lot of energy, there's plenty of chemicals that absorb it to use it as well. So a decent amou
  9. Why? Neurons have a complicated cell shape that is largely responsible for what they do. If much of their function is due from that, why would they also need to be "packed full of" some other control center? If anything impresses me about cell-level intelligence, it would be our immune system.
  10. What equation did you use to calculate the accelerations, and why does your acceleration have the wrong units?
  11. They use cell surface receptors, which set off a chemical signal cascade when they detect something. It's not really stereo, since there are far more than two receptors. It could in theory have a lot of data, but it is communicated largely via a chemical gradient due to the speed of diffusion. Ultimately, it is the DNA and the proteins which read it that are the brain behind everything happening in the cell. However, in many cases the setup from sensing to movement, was set up to occur automatically, before any sensing happened. Not unless you consider the arrangement of r
  12. Include in your contraption one or more loops of cable, through which you pass electric current. Then your magnet will turn your contraption.
  13. Mr Skeptic


    Yes the distances will be the same because there is no magnification. And your picture should have had at least two rays, for the top and bottom of the object.
  14. Oh, we humans are not helpless without our toys. Well, posting from the US but I meant our species. Even without much intellect, a heavy stick or a long stick (natural objects) combined with our teamwork and cunning are enough to take on any animal. Unlike most animals, we can throw stuff. Even throwing little pebbles is a skill appreciated by the bad-mannered dogs in any country where dogs are allowed to roam free. And that contest grows more unbalanced as technology and intelligence improved. (Also note that all animals require their environment, so it would be quite unfair to pretend we had
  15. I don't know if this is a kosher way to do it, but the simplest way would be to add a constant to your square root to make it a perfect square. But then you have to prove adding the constant doesn't change the answer at the limit.
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